Securus Technologies is a provider of correctional facility solutions meant to ensure public safety, assist investigations, and aid in the monitoring of inmates. On May 11th, they announced multiple successful deployments of their Managed Access Services (MAS) with more implementation planned for 2016. In this press release the current Chief Executive Officer, Richard A. Smith elaborated on why Securus Technologies has been so successful over the last few years. In Richard’s opinion Securus Technologies has a key amount of experience with the landscape of technology monitoring and building relationships with carriers like Verizon and AT&T for monitoring of contraband cell phone signals and integrating their technology with Securus’ proprietary systems.
One of the biggest reasons that correctional facilities throughout the United States use technology to monitor contraband cell phones and allow prisoners to communicate with the outside world is because of numerous documented murder attempts which have been linked to contraband cell phones in prisons. These murder attempts have been for attorney’s, civilians, and even correctional officers who have upset inmates that have criminal connections to the outside and access to a contraband cell phone.
Despite the public safety and track record of Securus Technologies in managing its products in many correctional facilities, there are some who fight the companies newest technological addition to actually monitor and jam contraband cell phones from being able to call out of the prison facilities. One such opponent to this new technology is Paul Wright, the Executive Director of Human Rights Defense Center. His opposition is born of the “price gouging” which occurs when prisoners use telecommunication services through Securus Technologies and its competitors. Something that the FCC has recently voted on and the final verdict on how pricing will work is now up to the courts.
Prisons across the U.S. are overcrowded and underfunded, and one of the significant reasons why is that 20 percent of the prison population can be diagnosed with severe mental illness. The county jails have an even higher rate, up to 65 percent are diagnosed with a mental illness or personality disorder. This mix, in the general population of most prisons, is not a good combination because neither group gets the attention they deserve.
The basic reason those with mental disorders are filling the prisons has a few root causes. In the late 80s and early 90s, the overcrowded, poorly run state psychiatric hospitals were closed due to a decision from the federal government. They were to be treated in community-based treatment centers where they lived that never materialized.
The problem was that the government never provided the funds for the local treatment centers, so the mentally ill who were released were left to fend for themselves. The majority either became homeless and/or ended up incarcerated.
So, that explains the fact that those were had more serious problems, committed crimes and received tougher penalties that were also introduced during the 80s and 90s.
The result is that these individuals ended up spending more time in prison without any type of mental health care. Typically, they became adjusted to the prison way of life, but never saw a psychiatrist or received proper treatment, so the same problem still remains.
There are techniques the corrections system could use to ease the situation. Dedicating a housing area for the mentally ill inmates, so they can be separately classified would ease the tension built up between the two populations. Having a direct observation unit separated from the main population for the severe mentally ill would ensure their safety while taking pressure off the guards and correction officers facilitating the unit.
A documentary has been planned for sometime about the state of the prison industry in Arizona. The documentary is filled with some very interesting statistics that might surprise a lot of people. Arizona has 16 prisons, but six of the prisons are managed by private industry. Indeed, the prison industry is very profitable for numerous private companies that are outside the state run prison industry. Here is something else to note. Arizona houses about 48,000 prisoners. The majority of the prisoners committed violent crimes. Arizona taxpayers are paying a whopping one billion dollars to keep the prison system running.
Arizona State Reform
Taxpayers are paying hefty tax bills to keep the prisons open, while state representatives are dragging their heels on state reform issues. They cannot agree on who should be released from the prison system. Some officials strongly believe that releasing prisoners is a bad idea. A felon could easily move in next door to an innocent family that does not know about their prison record. Others believe that the prisoners should have alternative ways to re-enter the community.
Private Prisons VS State Prisons
Taxpayers are paying big bucks to keep the prison industry going in the state of Arizona. However, some law-makers believe that private prisons might save the state money, but they are a bad idea. They further state that the private prisons are not any better than state run prisons. Other issues covered in the documentary include new polls on prisons in Arizona. It appears Arizona’s residents do not want any more prisons in the state. The surprising news is that citizens thought that alternative programs in the community were a much better idea than incarceration for all offenders in the community. Other people in the prison industry are working on new legislature to support more changes and lesser sentences.
Global Tel Link is a leader in the inmate communication industry, providing correctional technology and payment services. The company recently launched a new trademarked approach known as Mobile IQ ™, which will help correctional facilities to get rid of contraband mobile phones that are being used illegally by prisoners. Prison administrators seize thousands of cell phone annually, which bring a possible threat to safety and security in the facilities. GTL is pleased to work with different agencies to eliminate illegal phones in prisons. Mobile IQ’s strategy comprises of three separate sections that help in addressing the illegal phones issue. These approaches include Detection, Extraction, and Analysis, and give a better option than Managed Access Solution.
The company’s Product Manager, Mr. Mitch Volkart believes that their solution is secure and cannot be compared with any other product in the market. Mobile IQ facilitates active investigations that are not offered by MAS and other similar detection tools. The firm’s clients can now use an “intelligence guided corrections” strategy to do away with smuggled phones, and therefore, guaranteeing safe and more secure facilities. According to GTL’s Senior Vice President, Mr. Chris Tarbert, many organizations have been using Managed Access Solution to deal with the contraband phones issue, but most of them tend to change their preference upon testing Mobile IQ. MAS is relatively expensive and does not detect satellite and WiFi calls. The MAS approach doesn’t adequately solve the problem since there is a continued recovery of cell phones from facilities.
Global Tel Link aims at giving its clients the best products and strategies through its Mobile IQ multiple faced plan. The solution will be able to track all the smuggled cell phones in the facility and also shut down their supply. More information about the Mobile IQ can be found on the company’s website.